'Fuck Banks' - We Spoke To Maltese Bitcoin Traders And This Is What We Learnt
It's not all Lamborghini dreams
Cryptocurrency users are basically the vegans of the financial world - they know the current system is unsustainable and open to abuse, and are getting themselves prepped for the future.
But what is the real thought process of an average Maltese cryptocurrency user? Lovin Malta recently put out a survey - possibly the first in Malta of its kind - to understand all this talk of 'red candles' and 'Asia Whales'.
This is what the cryptocurrency population of Malta had to say for themselves. Just don't mention altcoins, apparently.
The below points are not the views of Lovin Malta, but merely the most common views from our Maltese respondents.
1. Do not panic. Seriously.
If you plan on getting into trading cryptocurrencies, keep your shit together. If you follow the non-stop rapid rising and falling of your favourite currency without knowing what you are looking at, you might be scared into selling when you really shouldn't be.
If you panic and sell, or even panic and buy recklessly, you are just going to burn through your assets like a rabid dog that has been left alone in a room full of dog food.
Or, as one respondent succinctly put it: "HODL + FOMO + Crashes = Panic"
2. Ignore all the altcoins
An altcoin is any cryptocurrency that was launched after Bitcoin was proven to work. From Ethereum to Ripple, a lot of these altcoins are gaining in popularity. However, many Maltese traders weren't interested.
"You invest in altcoins to get more bitcoins, but if your altcoins are losing Satoshi value then in reality you're losing money. Only noobs trade in USD pairs," said one, while another said that "it's fine to buy some just for kicks, but getting roped into ICOs and altcoins is crazy."
Respondents were much more interested in the blockchain technology behind these coins, than any specific coins themselves.
3. Thanks for all the help, BOV
Muliple respondents pointed at BOV as the single biggest challenge Maltese crypto-users were finding. One respondent said that "BOVs recent stance has already caused me to start moving away from them, onto online banks that are cryptocurrency friendly and I can't see this changing.
Another complained that "after blocking SEPA transactions, they also banned VISA transaction - to and from."
Maltese banks are known for their conservatism, however many consider blocking BOV users from doing what they want with their own cash as going a step too far.
4. It is literally the future
A common theme among respondents was the wider effects that cryptocurrencies will have on wider society. Things that were mentioned were "the potential redistribution of power,", a way to "established the path to global financial equality," as well as a way to "fuck the government and banks."
Another common sentiment was that "Bitcoin isn't the future, but blockchain is," once again pointing to the underlying technology as being the key here, and not the first product out of the gate.
5. Some people really are hoping to buy a car from Bitcoin
However, as opposed to the infamous Lambo dream, Maltese traders were much more interested in purchasing a Tesla.
6. Focus on the blockchain technology, not the Bitcoin
One respondent said that "I've already sold most of it and don't consider it an income stream anymore. I've retreated to following the tech advancements and exploring opportunities for improvement. Another said "Bitcoin is simply the father of crypto-currencies. There are far more interesting and better coins which are slowly gaining traction."
A third even said "I do believe Bitcoin is in a bubble given all the uninformed people jumping on the bandwagon without even knowing the fundamentals (the tech behind it is pretty clunky), but Distributed Ledgers Technologies (including but not limited to blockchain) have already proven themselves.."
7. People really don't like the banks
Like, at all. From BOV blocking SEPA payments to a wider criticism of the worldwide banking order, a lot of people are turning to crytptocurrencies as a way of circumventing the major banks.
One user said that blockchain "defies banks. Perhaps banks will will finally stop being corrupt."
Another said "most of the applications blockchain is being touted for are not suitable, but I do envisage that big banks might implement some version of their own in the near future."
Another respondent simply said "FUCK BANKS!", probably speaking for a majority of the users.
8. Follow the experts and don't get conned
As this is a developing area, there's a lot of misinformation and confusion, even among leading commentators. One respondent advised to "always read and follow important figures in this space," while another warned that "today the space is full of scams, pseudo-experts and plain horrible tech decisions."
More than anything, the main piece of advice was as follows: do your research, choose a coin, or various coins, that you think will appreciate in value, buy them, and forget about them (or, in Bitcoin speak, "Hodl").
One respondent gave the steps to success in 3 simple to follow instructions: "Hold. Be patient. Do not panic."